Eric Demuth (right) and Chase from Indie Wineries, pouring Demuth wines at Chambers Street (February 2015).

An Autumnal Steak Dinner with Eric Demuth! (Tuesday, October 27th, 7pm at Back Forty West)

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We are always delighted to welcome Eric Demuth to Chambers Street Wines. He is unanimously popular among the staff and, on top of that, we absolutely love his wines! Our first tasting with Eric featured about 8 bottles of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Syrah from some of Northern California's most interesting cool-climate vineyards, some familiar (Chalk Hill’s Clajeux) and some totally new to us (Bei Ranch in the Sonoma Coast, an unusual coastal planting of Cabernet and Syrah). Our response to this tasting was rare: we wanted every wine! And we were fascinated by Eric's methods and mindset. Across his diverse lineup, the common thread was a sense of perfect composure and bold, balanced, classical structure, California wines built for the dinner table and the ages… And yet they were extra beautiful and unusually delicious, with texturally and intellectually exciting dimensions that make you want to sit with them, to savor and dissect them, then drink some more.    

Eric helped his father, Chris, to plant the now-famous Demuth Vineyard in Anderson Valley in 1982, to build the family winery and to make their first estate wines. Thirty years later, his own Demuth label focuses on very small-scale vinifications (almost all cuvées under 100 cases each) from select rows and parcels of some of Northern California’s most interesting terroirs. Eric describes his approach as follows:

“In the vineyards, our very small production levels allow us to work our dedicated rows to a degree of detail otherwise impossible. In the weeks leading up to harvest we will physically handle nearly every single cluster of grapes which are ultimately harvested. We will taste grapes from almost every vine, looking for the odd clusters that lack proper development, damaged clusters, signs of mold or anything else that could adversely affect flavors. This painstaking selection process leaves very little sorting to be done at harvest, and ensures optimal fruit quality.”

This rigor extends to the cellar and is palpable in the wines. Strategic inclusion of whole clusters, native yeast fermentations, and minimal handling of musts combine for unique and energetic expressions of each small vinification. There is the generosity of fruit that California wine lovers relate to, with the rich complexity and sense of place that we admire in many of our favorite California wines. In addition to this, Demuth's wines have an ineffable, daring component that set them above their peers. It is necessary to taste them to understand.

Please join us, Eric Demuth, and our friends from Indie Wineries in celebrating these sensational wines with an autumnal steak dinner by the hearth at Back Forty West in Soho. Chef Peter Hoffman's cuisine is the perfect accompaniment to the lineup, which will include sneak previews of the 2013 Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013 Donnelly Creek Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2013 Syrah/Grenache Cuvée Ariana, and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Rød (a miniscule production blend from Bei Ranch, Mountain Terraces, and Clajeux Vineyards) alongside 2011 Clajeux and 2011 Mountain Terraces Cabernets, as well as some enticing new experiments from Eric's suitcase! We hope to see you there. Ariana Rolich

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Dinner Tuesday October 27 -- Eric Demuth at Back Forty West

Please join us for a 4-course Autumnal Steak Dinner in celebration of Eric Demuth and his excellent wines. $130 includes menu, wines, tax, and tip. Back Forty West is located at 70 Prince St, New York, NY 10012. Dinner is at 7pm. See you there!

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